It's time to get good and MAD, and make a difference

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It’s nearly February and we’re remembering with fondness those New Year resolutions that we made. The No. 1 resolution: Change our weight. Nicely put: "Lose It."

Those sentiments are reflected in this little poem:

’Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house,

Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste,

At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared,

The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared.

The cake and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese,

And the way I’d never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt,

And prepared once again to do battle with dirt.

I said to myself, as I only can,

"You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So — away with the last of the sour cream dip,

Get rid of the fruitcake, every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished,

’Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won’t have a cookie — not even a lick,

I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,

I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore,

But isn’t that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot,

Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!"

———

Someone once said that a New Year’s resolution is something that goes "in one year and out the other." As we begin 2010, I want to challenge you to get "Good and MAD." MAD is an acronym for "Make a Difference." When most people get mad, they lose their temper and do something bad. I’m challenging you to get "GOOD and mad." The Bible says in Ephesians 4:26, "In your anger do not sin." That means there are times we should express a righteous indignation toward an injustice that spurs us to do something good!

Jesus Christ was good and MAD because He has made an eternal difference for good in the lives of millions of people. and He taught that each of us should make a difference in the lives of others.

Jesus is both our reason for making a difference as well as the One who empowers us to make a difference. Without Jesus, we can only affect small changes, but with His power, we can change the world. In Matthew 10:42, Jesus mentions giving a cup of cold water, not in the literal sense but in performing acts of kindness to strangers. Some call it "random acts of kindness" but I prefer to call it "intentional acts of kindness."

What is kindness? Kindness is simply love with its work clothes on.

What is our motive for doing good deeds or showing kindness to others? As followers of Jesus, we do it because we are following His example and He has commanded us to do it.

I’m reminded of the starfish story:

There was a writer who traveled to the seashore to be inspired.

Each morning the writer took a stroll along the beach. One morning he observed a boy who appeared to be dancing. The boy reached down and ran into the surf waving his arm. He repeated this several times. As the writer approached him, he realized he wasn’t dancing, but that he was picking something up and tossing it into the surf. He asked, What are you doing?" The boy said, "Do you see all these starfish that have been washed up on the shore? The sun is coming up and the tide is going out. If they don’t get back in the water they will die. So, I’m tossing them into the water." The writer said, "But there are miles of beach and thousands of starfish. You can’t possibly make a difference." The young man reached down and picked up another starfish and tossed it into the water. -"Well, I made a difference for that one."

The writer returned cottage. But he couldn’t shake the image of the lad saving the starfish. It haunted him. After a couple of hours, the writer returned to the beach to find the boy. Together, they spent the rest of the morning tossing starfish back in the water.

This story is a reminder to us that we can either choose to sit by and be an observer of what’s happening around us, or we can choose to be active in our world to make a difference. In the parable of life, each of us has been uniquely created by God so we can make a positive difference in someone’s life. We just have to discover our starfish. Find your starfish and get "Good and M.A.D."

The Rev. Tim Bruner is pastor of New Beginnings Chapel. Contact him by e-mail at newbeginningschapel@yahoo.com or by telephone at 509-527-3385. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at catherinehicks@wwub.com.

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